My 2004 London Marathon

How was it for you? - Quotes and pictures from London 04


Posted: 21 April 2000
by J@m@s

Time: 3:45

Over the last few months and more so the last few weeks leading up to the marathon I have been reading your website and following the very helpful tips as well as reading the London Marathon Forums.

As this was my first London Marathon they helped massively as I was full of mixed feelings towards the last week or so building up to the big day. I have always watched the event on television in the years before in envy but fortunately I was chosen this year as part of the extra 1000 places that was on offer after the initial draw, so I considered myself to be very lucky and aimed to enjoy as much of the experience as I could with the intention of achieving a fairly good time as well.

I came in around 3 hours 45mins and as my initial aim was to conquer 4 hours I have achieved my goal. I started the race in zone 5, 1 ahead of my allocated zone, purely because it was fairly empty and zone 6 was very heavily congested.

I think that my best moment excluding the finish was when I actually crossed the starting line as only then did I realise how lucky I was to be included in one of the greatest running events in the year. Prior to that it never really sank in what I was hoping to achieve on April 18th 2004.

My worst moment came in the 24th mile when at mile 21 I decided that I would pick up the pace a little and head home. I felt I could keep the pace going but every mile from then seemed about 10. Just before I reached the 24 mile marker my legs began to suffer and I decided that I would walk but only for about 50 metres allowing myself the chance to gather my thoughts and compose myself again, I didn’t want to stiffen up as well so kept the walk short.

During this time I thought about the pain I was going through compared to others not as fortunate as me and from then I started with a slow jog to get back into it and push it as hard as I could to the line. It was a struggle but with the crowds shouting my name and cheering us all on the adrenaline kicked in and carried me home for a final sprint to the line. I think that my time would have been very much slower if the crowds were not as they were. The uplift that they created from the masses of support out there was incredible, the noise alone numbed the pain in my legs and I felt like I could go on forever.

I still remember seeing a small child about half way through the race and he put his hand up saying 'High five James', I ran past him without a chance to give the high five back as I saw him late, I wished I had seen him earlier as receiving support like that was something else and would have loved to have shown my appreciation. Seeing my family also was an amazing experience and having my brother chasing after me on the pavement trying to take a picture of me was a great addition to the sensation.

Now that all the training and hard work has paid off and the marathon is complete I will be looking to enter a few shorter distance races and see if I can beat my time next year as I will certainly be doing it again. The experience was nothing that I have ever felt before and has given me a drive to complete other marathons around the world in time, but for now i'm looking forward to the next one!! I will certainly push my friends and family into entering next year because it’s a feeling that only running the event can explain.

Plus a massive thankyou must go to all the volunteers that made this event run the way it did. They were great and made sure that I said thank you to every one at the drinks stations as they deserved it.

Right, now going to aim to walk up three steps, have a relaxing bath then get back to my 12,000-word dissertation that needs to be completed for Monday! :@(

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